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Amazon Neptune, a New Cloud Graph Database, Is Now Generally Available

| by Steef-Jan Wiggers Follow 9 Followers on Jun 09, 2018. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Amazon Neptune, a new fully-managed cloud graph database, is generally available after its limited preview launch last year. With Amazon Neptune, customers can manage data within a graph model – a semantic structure in nodes, edges, and properties.

AWS will manage the operational aspects of the Amazon Neptune graph database within their cloud platform, and therefore customers will not have to perform operations like maintenance, patching, backups, and restores. Furthermore, the service is highly available, with read replicas, point-in-time recovery, continuous backup to Amazon S3, replication across Availability Zones (AZ), and supports encryption of data at rest and in transit. 

Properties of the AWS Neptune graph database service include:


Source: https://aws.amazon.com/neptune/

According to a recent Business Wire article on Amazon Neptune, Raju Gulabani, vice president, Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning at AWS said:

As the world has become more connected, applications that navigate large, connected data sets are increasingly more critical for customers. We are delighted to give customers a high-performance graph database service that enables developers to query billions of relationships in milliseconds using standard APIs, making it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected data sets.

With Amazon Neptune, AWS customers can create and query graph databases for various use cases, including fraud detection, social networking, and recommendations. A reference customer is Blackfynn, a life sciences software startup, that is looking for ways to change how Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and other neurological disorders are treated. Their SVP of engineering, Chris Baglieri, said in the same Business Wire article:

We look forward to using Amazon Neptune as an integral part of our data platform. Neptune will allow us to connect the dots between genomics, pathology, neurochemistry, device and patient clinical data, efficiently and at scale, helping us drive breakthrough discoveries.



Source: https://aws.amazon.com/neptune/

Note that AWS Neptune is not the only fully managed graph database in the cloud. Microsoft, for instance, made Cosmos DB generally available last year after the MS Build 2017 conference. However, Cosmos DB supports additional data models including document storage, has more consistency concepts, and also offers partitioning support. Thomas Larock, Azure Data Platform MVP, in a blog post on comparing costs between Neptune, DynamoDB, and Cosmos DB, wrote:

This research also makes me wonder why AWS decided to deploy Neptune instead of extending DynamoDB. With that in mind, it would not surprise me to wake up one day to find Neptune absorbs DynamoDB. After all, Cosmos DB absorbed DocumentDB last year.

The Amazon Neptune is currently available in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) regions and Amazon are planning to expand to additional regions in the coming year. Furthermore, the pricing detail of AWS Neptune is available on the pricing page.

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